The latest status report on Bangladesh's progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) published on Wednesday gave these figures.
Set by the United Nations in 2000, 2015 is the terminal year of the MDGs.
The report comes at a time when the UN is set to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as the post-MDG global development agenda with a 15-year (2016-2030) implementation period.
The report titled, ‘Millennium Development Goals: Bangladesh Progress Report 2015’, said Bangladesh made remarkable progresses in poverty alleviation.
It also did so in ensuring food security, gender parity in primary and secondary-level education, lowering under-five mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.
The report said immunisation coverage improved and communicable diseases reduced.
Planning Commission member Shamsul Alam, who presented the report, said despite the successes in reaching the MDGs, nearly 40 million people still lived under the poverty line.
Of them, nearly 25 million people were living in high poverty, he added.
Alam emphasised taking further initiative to reduce the rates of hunger and poverty and create employments more along with other issues.
The report said many areas such as primary school completion and adult literacy rates, creation of employment for women with decent wage, increase in the number of skilled health professionals for child delivery, increase in forestation and coverage of information and communication technology needed greater attention.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, at the report’s unveiling, said, “Bangladesh is leading the countries which have been successful in reaching the MDGs.”
“Productive industrialisation in Bangladesh has contributed to reducing the poverty rate,” he said.
The rest of the world would spend 15 years to the reach the poverty alleviation rate that Bangladesh would achieve in four years, Muhith added.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal gave credit to the gradual growth in Bangladesh’s GDP for the decline in poverty rate.
“The world plans to get rid of poverty by 2030, but Bangladesh will do it by 2018,” he said.
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said Bangladesh’s MDG scorecard was ‘enough proof that we can deliver on our international commitments’.
He said the country had also received high praises from other countries of the world for continuous progress amid global recession.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman added that the government’s move to introduce inclusive economy and public support had played key roles in poverty alleviation.